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Georgia Opts Rejects Federal Funds to Aid Child Nutrition in Summer Months!


CheapNailsalonsnearmeThe state of Georgia, under Governor Brian Kemp’s administration, has decided not to participate in the Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer for Children (Summer EBT) program for 2024. This decision effectively turned down millions in federal funding that was intended to combat child hunger during the summer.

The Summer EBT program, a federal initiative, aims to supplement existing nutrition programs like SNAP and WIC. It would have provided eligible children, primarily those qualifying for free or reduced lunch, with $120 in food benefits throughout the summer ($40 per month).

Despite more than 30 other states embracing this program, Georgia’s refusal stands out, especially considering that nearly 64% of its public school students qualify for free and reduced lunch, representing over a million children who could have benefited.

Governor Kemp’s office justified this decision by pointing to existing state programs, such as GaDOE’s Seamless Summer Option and Happy Helpings, which they argue, already effectively address the nutritional needs of children during the summer.

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Garrison Douglas, a spokesperson for Governor Kemp, emphasized the administration’s commitment to child nutrition but critiqued the federal program for lacking in nutritional requirements and sustainability. Advocates for child nutrition, however, express disappointment and hope for a reconsideration in the future.

They argue that the Summer EBT could be an efficient way to ensure continuous food support for children outside the school year. The decision is particularly significant in the context of Georgia’s high rate of child food insecurity, underscoring the ongoing debate about the most effective methods to address these challenges.

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